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Take a Few Steps Back for Better Health

By Stephen R. Farris

Name something most of us do on a daily basis. If you said walking, then yes, you'd be most certainly correct.

The first thing we do when we get out of bed is walk into the bathroom or the kitchen, or maybe the living room to catch the morning news. Whatever the case may be, it's inevitable. We have to stand upright and take a step to go somewhere.

Not only is it a necessity, but it can also be a great way to get back into shape or to keep yourself physically fit, if you do so (walk) at a brisk pace. You might even find it helpful when it comes to weight loss or management.

Now the normal pace of walking is in a forward motion. Wouldn't you say that is the normal way to do it? Of course you would. But what if I told you that there are health and mental benefits of breaking away from the norm and trying a different method of walking? Right now, you're probably thinking this writer has gone completely bonkers with that statement.

On one hand, yeah, I've been known to be "bonkers" on occasion, but it's true. Walking backwards can be a constructive form of exercise. For instance, while walking backwards you work different muscles than the ones you work while walking forward.

Some of the other benefits vary, so here's a short list of a few that could change the way you think about walking, both mentally and physically:

  • Enhanced sense of body awareness
  • Increases body coordination and movement in space
  • Keeps your workouts from becoming the same old "boring" routine
  • Improves your mood
  • Helps with sleep
  • Motivation tool to get you out of your comfort zone
  • Keeps your mind guessing
  • Puts your senses in overdrive; improves vision
  • Increases strength in lesser-used leg muscles
  • You'll see a noticeable difference in your walking form and technique
  • Helps with balance
  • Burns calories and helps maintain your weight
  • Strengthens bones and muscles
  • Energy booster
  • Elevates body metabolism

If running is your thing, try doing it backwards. According to a study in the Journal of Biomechanics, it helps reduce anterior knee pain. Doing either one -- walking or running backwards -- could have cardio benefits and cause changes in your body. Good changes, that is.

Your local chiropractor may suggest doing some exercise to help with your chiropractic treatments. Both running and walking are on their list because they want you to keep moving. So the next time you're in for a treatment, talk to your licensed doctor of chiropractic medicine about this new found knowledge.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Lake Hills, Tex.

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